[The Audiofiles] Kendrick Lamar Surprises with Raw ‘untitled unmastered’ EP

Over the last decade, the scope of the music industry has been a’changin.  Not only do we  live in an era where social media is king and YouTube stars receive as much praise as multi platinum rockstars, but with the influx of a menagerie of streaming music services – including Pandora, Spotify, Tidal and the like – over, the past five years there has been a severe decline in album sales. While many artists depend on well calculated content calendars and PR specialists to passionately promote and push their music, the truly talented have the ability to be propelled to centerstage based on their craft alone.

Back at the end of 2013, Beyonce’s self titled artist album landed on iTunes before it was on the music blogs, kick-starting a long list of surprise releases – including Drake’s ‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late’, Skrillex’s 2014 bombshell of an album ‘Recess and U2’s obnoxiously placed ‘Songs of Innocence’ which wound up on my iPod without my consent. Kendrick Lamar‘s last album – ‘To Pimp a Butterfly‘ was released a week early because of a mixup behind the scenes, and now his latest venture has mysteriously matriculated into Spotify rotation over night.

Invariably, a collection of past tracks that have finally seen the light of day, ‘untitled unmastered’ is an 8 track lyrical introspection layered with textured instrumentals and a grimy feel. Each track is labeled with an ominous ‘untitled #’ with a date ranging from 2013 to 2014, except for track 7, which appears to have been touched again in 2016; and if we look at his artist path in a linear fashion, these tracks appear to have been born around the same time he was working on ‘TPaB‘, and potentially are demos that never made the final cut.

Take it for a spin – let me know what you think in the comments below!

Hailed by the California Senate as a ‘Generational Icon’, Kendrick Lamar continually champions the voice of the ghetto and the underground while pushing the auditory landscape of Rap and Hip Hop with his honest lyrics, experimental instrumentals and raw artistry.

For more on Kendrick Lamar, head to his socials:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

[The Audiofiles] Throwback Thursday: Rockin’ to the 90’s

Last Weekend, when Danny and I gallivanted up the California Coast for our friend’s beautiful wedding at the Falkirk Cultural Center – we took a necessary deviation from what’s seemingly become our standard road-tripping playlists, bass heavy, glitch infused tracks that more often than not lack a vocal track.  Don’t get me wrong, I thrive on the complexities, deviations in structure and the plethora of noises that stem from Electronic Music.  But, now that I’ve had my ‘Robot Ears’  on for the better part of the last decade – songs from individual genres seem to blend together effortlessly into musical amalgamation of Dubstep, Deep House and Trance.

If it weren’t for the varied live groups like Modestep, Odesza, Keys n Krates, EOTO, Emancipator Ensemble and STS9, expertly fused live DJ sets from the likes of Bassnectar, Andy C, Beardyman, Kastle, Disclosure, Bonobo and Shpongle and exceptional one off live Trance shows like Armin van Buuren’s Armin Only and Above & Beyond’s Acoustic at the Greek – I wouldn’t lost my faith in the umbrella genre of EDM long ago.  So, for this 10 hour cruise – we put up our disco duds and busted it old school thanks to some help from Spotify, and a whole lot of great memories from our childhood.  On my infinite list of things I love about Danny, it’s that even though we didn’t grow up near each other nor share any childhood memories – we both used to rock out to the same ol’ songs and that fact brings us so much closer together.  Music, as it already stands, is a building block of our relationship (hell, we met EDC weekend 2010, said the magic words at LIB then got engaged at Shambhala) – but it’s also an emotive, binding force.

As only children, a lot of the time we were left alone with music and our own thoughts – meaning that these artists had a substantial impact on our childhood, as well as our world view.  For the drive, we listened to it all.  From Rock and Roll like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sum 41,  blink182 and Sublime to Linkin Park, Foo Fighters and the Barenaked Ladies to Hip Hop and Rap  from Run DMC, A Tribe Called Quest, The Fugees, Nas, Puff Daddy (back when he was actually Puff Daddy), Notorious B.I.G. and some guilty pleasure pop music a la Celine, Whitney, Mariah, Alanis and Fiona – we went back, way back – and it was the best time ever.  So good, in fact, that I’ve made a collaborative playlist on Spotify and y’all can add your favorite 90’s tracks, too!  So take your hair down, put your feet up and let’s kick it old school for Throwback Thursday.

What’s your go to 90’s track? Leave it some love in the comments below – or better yet, head on over to Spotify and add to my collaborative playlist!